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If you can’t make it to the theatre it’s possible to watch a number of productions from your sofa via streaming services.

There are big-name theatres and companies such as the RSC, as well as productions starring famous names like David Tennant.

Many of these shows will be available on YouTube which means you can watch it on smart TVs or via a streaming stick (here’s my pick of the best ones).

You’ll normally have to pay a monthly fee, but right now there are a few places you can watch the plays, musicals and operas for free.

Free shows from Individual theatres

A few different theatres are showing productions for free while the theatres are shut. Here are a few I’ve spotted:

National Theatre

Through April and May the National Theatre is giving free access to eight different shows on Thursdays, each for one week. You can watch them on the NT YouTube channel.

We had four in April and it’ll continue in May. The next productions will be:

  • Frankenstein (30th April)
  • Anthony & Cleopatra (7th May)
  • Barber Shop Chronicles (14th May)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire, with Gillian Anderson (21st May)
  • This House (28th May)
  • Coriolanus, with Tom Hiddleston (4th June(

 > Watch the NT YouTube channel

Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals

At 7pm on each Friday for the next few weeks (at least), a different Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will be available on YouTube for 48hours. Shows will be announced on the Thursday of each week. So far we’ve had 

  • Joseph & His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (3rd April)
  • Jesus Christ Super Star, with Tim Minchin (10th April)
  • Phantom of the Opera (17th April)
  • Love Never Dies (24th April)
  • The Royal Albert Hall Celebration (1st May)
  • By Jeeves (8th May)
  • Cats (15th May – 24 hours only)

> Watch The Shows Must Go On YouTube channel

Cyprus Avenue at The Royal Court

Streaming from 27th March until 31st May on the Royal Court website and YouTube

Wind in the Willows at the Palladium

This production with Rufus Hound from 2017 is free on YouTube, though you are welcome to make a donation to support theatre staff.

Met opera

There are free showings from New York’s Met Opera each night, with a different show each day. Here’s the upcoming schedule.

Subscription services

Hamilton on Disney +

From July 3rd you’ll be able to see a recording of the original Hamilton cast on Disney +. There’s a free 7-day trial or you can pay £5.99 a month. For more discounts visit my streaming service deals page.

Marquee TV

This has some theatre but it’s probably best for dance and opera fans. You can get a 30-day free trial. After that it costs £8.99 a month or £89.99 a year – though there’s a £20 discount for your first year.

New shows are premiered every Saturday. Theatre seems to mainly be RSC and an Oscar Wilde season, but there’s a huge amount of dance from the likes of The Royal Ballet and the Bolshoi, with opera from Glyndebourne and others

> Sign up for Marquee TV

Digital Theatre

Digital Theatre is a streaming service that costs £9.99 a month for unlimited viewing, or £7.99 per production.

It includes shows from the likes of the RSC, Old Vic, Donmar, Lyric and Royal Opera House.

Shows includes Funny GIrl with Sheridan Smith, Hamlet with Maxine Peak, Much Ado About Nothing with David Tennant and Into The Woods from Regent’s Park.

There’s also ballet, dance, opera and classical music.

> Sign up for Digital Theatre


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